Wednesday, September 12, 2012
As Libyan and Egyptian crowds commit crimes against the US, it's worth reflecting that this was caused by one guy being an asshole. In no way, shape or form is the violence we've seen justified by the fact that someone in the US made an incendiary and insulting film. In no way.
But just because some asshole CAN make a film insulting Islam, doesn't mean he SHOULD.
Having said that, it seems clear that factions within Egypt and Libya wanted to stir up trouble by talking about a film that all but a few thousand Americans didn't even know existed. I have no idea what the politics over there is, with regards to stirring up trouble, but Libya especially is troubling. You don't just kill an ambassador. You don't start down that road.
But then again, a regime born in violence will likely have a violent infancy.
There isn't a lot that the US can do. We can't turn our back on Libyan efforts to create some form of democracy, nor can we overplay our hand in Egypt. That would play into the hands of the men who started this furor in the first place. The Islamists who pushed this violence are probably banking on a violent response from the US. This would justify their anti-American positions and strengthen their position politically.
So we have measure our response, not turn the check exactly, but not start launching drones over Tripoli.
In an election year.
Good luck with that.